The House on Mango Street by Sandra CisnerosAcclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero.
Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous–it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.
The House on Mango Street
She is embarrassed by her family's current home and constantly wishes to have a new house of her own, far away from the slums of Mango Street. As she grows up, she meets various people indicative of her neighborhood and influential in her growth. She feels like an ugly duckling, loves to write, and wants to protect those who she loves. Esperanza loves to write down all her stories and realizes that even if she escapes to a better life, she must always remember her youth, her upbringing, and the place from which she came: Mango Street. Nenny: Nenny is Esperanza's little sister and constant companion. Short for Magdalena, Nenny accompanies her sister on her various escapades and experiences on Mango Street, meeting new people and learning new things.
Esperanza does not want to belong to her impoverished neighborhood and dreams of one day owning a home of her own, different from her families ramshackle dwelling on Mango Street. Throughout the course of the novel, Esperanza invents the person she will become: she aspires to be a writer and to overcome the limitations gender, race and class has placed upon her. Esperanza's mother, is a selfless caretaker, as evidenced by the comfort Esperanza seeks by her side and the way she will try to facilitate her children's whims, such as the new dress she buys Esperanza for a baptism and the way she indulges her daughter's wishes to not remain at school for lunch. Mama is beautiful and feminine, but we also learn that she is smart and regrets not making more of herself. Esperanza learns one of the most important lessons of the novel from Mama- to not let pride and fear of competition inhibit you from striving for success: "I could've been somebody, you know? Esperanza, you go to school. Study hard